Facebook Launches Suicide Prevention Tools For All Users Worldwide

As much as we sometimes complain about our Facebook feeds being cluttered with political drivel, annoying rants, and all sorts of nonsense, that's more a reflection of our friends and family than the social media service itself. As a company, Facebook has taken the idea that with great power comes great responsibility to heart, whether it's attempting to connect all corners of the planet to the Internet or, as announced on Tuesday, updating its resources to help people with suicidal thoughts.

Facebook developed a set of tools in collaboration with mental health organizations to help people who might be injuring themselves on purpose or thinking about suicide. The tools were initially launched in the U.S. with the help of Forefront, Lifeline, and Save.org, and now Facebook is rolling them out around the world in collaboration with local partners. They're available in all languages that Facebook currently supports.

Facebook Safety

"Now, with the help of these new tools, if someone posts something on Facebook that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can reach out to them directly — and you also can also report the post to us. We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in. They prioritize the most serious reports like self-injury," Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety and Jennifer Guadagno, Researcher, said in a joint announcement.

Facebook maintains a Suicide Prevention page fill with questions and answers for various situations, such as being worried about someone after seeing them post content about suicide or self-injury. It's also filled with resources to tackling the issue head on, including links and telephone numbers to various support agencies around the world, such as the National Suicide Prevention LIfeline.

It's good to see Facebook taking a proactive role in mental health. In this age of social media, there are all sorts of new challenges that didn't exist in the past, such as cyberbullying. Mental health doesn't discriminate either—losing actor and comedian Robin Williams to suicide in 2014 is stark reminder that even fame and fortune can't serve as cures for what are real issues.

If you suspect someone on Facebook of self-injury or suicide, or are having those thoughts yourselves, we encourage you to visit the site's Suicide Prevention page and using the resources available.